Life at the Abbey

"...toward a balance in mind, body, and spirit."

Christian Life

Since our founding in 1942, the Benedictine monastic community of St. Anselm’s Abbey has been the bedrock of our school’s spiritual life.

Today, the monks continue to have a profound influence both on the school’s philosophy and on the everyday lives of students, playing a central role in the school’s quest to nurture the body, mind and spirit. Spiritual life at St. Anselm’s takes many forms both inside and outside the classroom.


St. Anselm’s is a Roman Catholic school within the Archdiocese of Washington, and we require students in all years to take religion classes. In the Middle School, students take classes focused on scripture and Church history, and in the early Upper School years, they move on to discussion of Catholic philosophy and doctrine. Juniors and Seniors are able to choose from a wide range of religion classes; recent electives have included Christian Ethics, Science and Religion, World Religions in Dialogue, and Christian Art and Architecture, and Bioethics among many others.


One of the key components of the St. Anselm’s experience is the class spirit that brings students together. To this end, the retreat program is an important foundation at every grade level.

In the fall, Forms A through IV (grades 6-10) each participate in a day-long class trip. In Forms I and III, these trips are focused heavily on spirituality and faith, while in other years there is an emphasis on personal growth and team-building. While on retreat, the students forge a strong sense of unity not only within their respective Forms, but also in a larger sense as members of the St. Anselm’s community.

As students get older, faculty and Form VI students lead Form V students on an extended three-night retreat known as Kairos. Principally spiritual in nature, this retreat marks a milestone in each student’s St. Anselm’s experience. Each young man has an opportunity to reflect upon his spiritual and personal development and how he will approach his upcoming role as a leader of the student body when he enters his Sixth Form year.

Weekly Student/Faculty Mass

Chapel of St. Benedict, Academic Building
Wednesdays: 7:30 a.m.

Form Masses

Abbey Church
Wednesdays: 3:00 p.m. (Rotating Schedule)

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Subiaco Oratory, Campus Ministry Annex
11:05-11:45 a.m.
or by appointment with any priest

Community Rosary

Campus Ministry Annex
Mondays and Fridays:
3:00-3:30 pm

Abbey Liturgical Schedule

Abbey Church
Weekday Mass: 7:30 a.m. daily during the school year
Sunday Mass: 9:00 a.m.
Midday Prayer: 12:05 p.m. daily
Vespers: 6:00 p.m. daily

Monthly Parent Mass and Discussion

Abbey Church/Lower Building Mezzanine
First Fridays (With some exception; check school calendar): 8:10 a.m.
All faiths welcome. Mass followed by a book discussion lead by school Chaplain.
Eucharistic adoration takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Abbey Church on these Fridays.